Tuesday, December 6, 2016

EXTRA: A ‘Cuban connection?’ Or Sox' answer to Sutter/Maddux moves!

Baseball is a crapshoot. All those deals and maneuvers ballclubs make to try to improve themselves always come with a definite lack of guarantee. You don’t know what will work until it’s done.
Changing color of his socks

That is my attitude toward the deal announced Tuesday that the Chicago White Sox traded away their top pitcher to the Boston Red Sox – who now have fantasies of having the best starting rotation of pitchers in all of baseball.

IN EXCHANGE, THE White Sox got four ballplayers – including two who are supposedly the best prospects in the Boston minor league system.

One of whom is Yoan Moncada – a second baseman who two seasons ago got big money from the Red Sox when he defected from Cuba. Some $63 million in all, out of the belief that he would be one of the Red Sox stars for years to come (since he’s only 21).

But now, he’s a property of the Sout’ Side’s ball club, and will be a heavy factor in the White Sox dreams of again contending for a league championship and World Series appearance in the near future.

When combined with first baseman Jose Abreu also of Cuba, he creates a potential Cuban connection for the White Sox that could wind up making them legitimate contenders. Considering that one of the White Sox’ biggest names ever was t he Cuban Comet himself, Minnie Miñoso, perhaps it’s appropriate.

IF IT WORKS out, that is.
Pairing up with Abreu...

Because there always are those ballplayers who turn out to be incapable of making the jump to the “big” club. Minor league stats don’t always mean much.

I remember when Karl Pagel was supposed to be the BIG NAME who would someday lead the Chicago Cubs to the promised land, while Ron Kittle was the guy who hit more than 50 home runs in a season in the Pacific Coast League.

Pagel barely lasted with the Cubs, while Kittle was little more than a journeyman ballplayer during his major league service time. We’ll have to wait and see just how real the “Cuban connection” becomes in Chicago.
... to create new Cuban connection?

BECAUSE TRADING AWAY an established ballplayer like Sale always runs the risk of backfiring. The White Sox may well have enriched the chances of the Charlotte Knights (their top minor league affiliate) having a good year in 2017 without anything ever resulting to benefit Chicago proper.

There’s also the chance that the Sale deal could wind up giving the White Sox an answer in incompetence to the front office actions of past years that saw Bruce Sutter and Greg Maddux (both now in the Baseball Hall of Fame) go to other teams in exchange for nothing of significance.
A slew of 'stars' who never amounted to much

I’m not saying for sure that will happen. I don’t know how this deal will turn out for either team.

Because I’m the first to admit I think Sale’s temperament is just a bit too whiny for him to continue to be a part of the White Sox. Perhaps a change of scenery is what he needed.
Twice traded for star Sox shortstops

BECAUSE AROUND HERE, he’ll always now be remembered as the guy who had a hissy fit because of the jersey he was asked to wear and wound up shredding a team’s worth of uniforms. Even though that particular jersey was part of a team promotion that actually worked out to be popular with many fans!

It’s always possible the deal could work out to be good all the way around – similar to how the Chicago Cubs back in 1984 traded away future star Joe Carter, but wound up getting Rick Sutcliffe. As in one of their best pitchers ever. Or the 1977 trade that sent star shortstop Bucky Dent from the White Sox to the New York Yankees in exchange for Oscar Gamble, cash and four minor leaguers -- one of whom went on to become 1983 Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt (who himself was then later traded to the San Diego Padres for long-time star shortstop Ozzie Guillen).
Best left unspoken

Which is proof that in order to gain something of significance, you have to be prepared to give up something of equal value. That's true whether in baseball or business.

Because the number of times you can give up an aging pitcher like Ernie Broglio and gain a future Hall of Famer like Lou Brock are truly rare – and usually wind up with your team on the losing end of the deal.


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